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Periplasmic binding proteins from Gram-negative bacteria possess a common architecture, comprised of two domains linked by a hinge region, a fold which they share with the neurotransmitter-binding domains of ionotropic glutamate receptors (GluRs). Glutamine-binding protein (GlnBP) is one such protein, whose crystal structure has been solved in both open and closed forms. Multi-nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations have been used to explore motions about the hinge region and how they are altered by ligand binding. Glutamine binding is seen to significantly reduce inter-domain motions about the hinge region. Essential dynamics analysis of inter-domain motion revealed the presence of both hinge-bending and twisting motions, as has been reported for a related sugar-binding protein. Significantly, the influence of the ligand on GlnBP dynamics is similar to that previously observed in simulations of rat glutamate receptor (GluR2) ligand-binding domain. The essential dynamics analysis of GlnBP also revealed a third class of motion which suggests a mechanism for signal transmission in GluRs.


Journal article



Publication Date





168 - 174


Binding Sites, Carrier Proteins, Computer Simulation, Escherichia coli, Glutamine, Hydrogen Bonding, Ligands, Models, Molecular, Protein Binding, Protein Conformation, Protein Structure, Tertiary